News, updates, and happenings at Burlington High School (MA)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
From the BHS English Department:
The 2013 ELA MCAS exam for all sophomores is approaching – students will take the test on March 19, 21 & 22 – the English Department has compiled a variety of resources that might be helpful for navigating the exam. On the MCAS Resources page, you will find a link to the full 2011 ELA exam, a list of all of the literary terms that have appeared in the questions since 2007, and a full list of long composition prompts that the test has used, going back to 2006.
Literary Terms that have appeared on the MCAS since 2007Metaphor Theme Hyperbole Conflict Synonym Myth Imagery Mood Folktale Stanza Symbolism Satire Figurative Language Point of View Contrast Tone (Beyond this particular wording, the tests often ask about the “main attitude” or the “overall feel” of a passage – they are asking about the tone) Ellipsis
MCAS Sample Essay Prompts:
The MCAS essay does not provide a suggested book list – students may use any book they wish in their response, although they would be wise to choose something more literary. Although Harry Potter works very well with most of the essay prompts, he’s probably not the best choice.
Select a work of literature you have read in or out of school in which the villain has the greatest impact on the story. In a well-developed composition, identify the villain, and explain why the villain has the greatest impact on the story. (This last section is more or less exactly the same every year – Present an issue, then choose a character and show how this issue influences him/her)
From a work of literature you have read in or out of school, select a character who struggles with society. In a well-developed composition, identify the character and explain why this character’s conflict with society is important.
Often in literature, a character is punished or rejected for being different.
From 2010 Often in literature, a character’s life is affected by a single act or mistake.
Often in works of literature, two characters disagree or do not understand one another.
From 2009 Works of literature often produce characters whose pride or arrogance causes problems.
Often in literature, a character learns or discovers something that changes his or her life.
From 2008 In many works of literature, a character must adapt to life in a new environment.
In many works of literature, a character rebels against a role that others expect him or her to play.
From 2007 Works of literature often produce characters who overcome hardship or misfortune.
Often in literature, a character influences others in good and bad ways.
From 2006 Works of literature often feature characters who have the ability to lead and inspire others.